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U.S. life application activity up slightly in 2019

By The IJ Staff | January 14 2020 12:08PM

New data from Massachusetts-based MIB Group Inc. shows that U.S. life insurance application activity ended 2019 above par value, up 0.4 per cent for the year.

The positive, albeit a slightly positive result, is part of a two-year climb from the MIB Life Index’s most recent year-end low in 2017 when the life index was down 1.8 per cent, year to date.  In 2019, the index showed mixed application activity with first quarter and third quarter year-over-year declines offsetting gains in the second and fourth quarters.

Interestingly, double digit gains (10.1 per cent) in application activity among consumers over age 60 (the life index’s smallest segment), successfully offset a 3.3 per cent decline in application activity among those between the ages of 0 and 44 (the index’s largest segment).  Application activity remained stable for the 45-59 age group, up 0.9 per cent year-over-year and year to date.

Younger age group poses challenge

“Younger age buyers continue to pose significant challenges,” says Lee Oliphant, MIB Group’s CEO. “As an industry we continue to make investments to educate consumers about the value of life insurance and to enhance the buying experience but 2019 results imply that challenges with this age group remain.”

Overall, the 2019 MIB Life Index gained ground in nine out of the twelve months of the year, with year-over-year gains reported in January, June and November. These were offset by strong declines in March, July and December. In relative terms, MIB says the 2019 year-end index value is 2.6 per cent lower than its all-time high in 2012.

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